Rosemary is one of the most universal herbs to grow in your garden. It's a drought-tolerant, easy-care perennial shrub that can be harvested for a variety of uses and is great as an ornamental plant. It produces beautiful flowers, available in white, pink, purple, or blue, which attract many pollinators. The foliage of this plant has a pleasant smell and is a staple food for culinary use. If you want to add something new to your garden that will last for years, growing rosemary plants is a breeze! And luckily, growing rosemary is extremely easy!

The name "rosemary" is of Latin origin and means "dew of the sea". Historically, this herb was used in rituals and medicinal purposes by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Rosemary was said to strengthen memory and brain function and was a symbol of memory.

Even today, it is popular for a variety of uses including decor, fragrance, aromatherapy, and for flavoring a wide variety of dishes. For culinary use, sprigs of rosemary are commonly used to flavor soups, casseroles, all kinds of meat, cereals and potato dishes.

In this article, we'll learn how to propagate rosemary plants at home using a few simple methods. You can choose the method that best fits the materials available, or try all of the methods to see what you like best!

Good products for growing rosemary:

What is Plant Propagation?

Propagation of rosemary can be done using many different methods. Source: cristina.sanvito

The general definition of spread is to increase the number. When referring to plants, it means the process of creating new plants through sexual or asexual reproduction. There are numerous ways to propagate plants, and some methods work better than others depending on the plant you are working with. Learning to propagate your favorite plants at home is an easy and inexpensive way to build your garden.

Sexual reproduction occurs when flowers are cross-pollinated and produce seeds. Each seed contains an embryo with the genetic material from two parents. When buying seeds, you can usually find heirloom or hybridized seeds. Heirloom seeds are collected and passed down through many generations so the properties are quite stable. Hybridized seeds come from a controlled pollination method in which both parents are known and thus the characteristics of the cross are known and predictable. However, seeds produced from the resulting plants are genetically unstable and should not be used. Every year new seeds have to be bought when hybridized varieties are grown.

Asexual reproduction uses vegetative parts of plants such as roots, rhizomes, stems, and leaves to create more plants. This method gives you genetic clones of your original plants and guarantees the same properties. Asexual methods of propagation are easy to do with the right tools and tend to produce full-size plants much faster than planting seeds.

Methods of propagating rosemary

Rosemary plants can easily be propagated at home from seed or stem cuttings. Air stratification is also an option if you have a large, well-established rosemary plant.

Seeds are inexpensive and can be found at your local gardening store. Planting from seeds is very simple but requires patience as it takes a long time to grow a full size plant.

Growing rosemary from cuttings is a great option if you already have a rosemary plant and just want more. You can also buy plants from your local nursery or garden center and harvest cuttings from them. A cut is simply a piece of a plant that is used to propagate another plant. There are several ways to propagate from cuttings. The quickest method is to root the cuttings in potting soil with a root hormone. Rosemary cuttings take root without using the root hormone, but they speed up the rooting process. Root powder is inexpensive and available in garden stores or online.

Air layers are a quick way for larger plants to reproduce. This method requires a large, well-established rosemary plant. Air stratification is the process of rooting whole branches by bending them into the ground and partially burying them to encourage root growth. Once the roots have grown, the branch can be cut from the mother plant and transplanted elsewhere.

Below is a step-by-step guide for each method of propagation.

Materials you will need to propagate rosemary from seeds

  • Rosemary seeds
  • Seed starter soil mix
  • Clean 2-4 inch pots or open pocket

How to propagate rosemary from seeds

Rosemary seedsRosemary seeds are tiny things. Source: Photos by Jnzl

Plant rosemary seeds no earlier than 10 weeks before the last frost.

Start with a good quality seed mix in a small pot or open-plan bowl.

Plant seeds ¼ inch deep. Keep the soil moist, but not too moist. The optimal soil temperature for germination is 70-75 ° F.

Make sure there is plenty of light coming from a sunny windowsill or plant light. If you are using a plant light, turn it on for at least 12 hours a day, but no more than 16 hours a day.

Germination should occur within 2-3 weeks.

Plant the seedlings in a larger pot when the roots are well established in the plug-in tray or pot. Keep newly transplanted seedlings in a shaded spot for about a week before exposing them to direct sunlight.

Materials you will need to propagate rosemary from stem cuttings

  • Ripe rosemary plant
  • Cutting shears
  • Mix the potting soil
  • Clean 4 inch pots or glass
  • Fog up spray bottle
  • Root powder (optional)
  • Plastic bag (optional)

How to take cuttings

The first thing you need to learn is how to properly cut rosemary. Make sure your rosemary plant is well watered and has plenty of new growth before harvesting cuttings. Do not take cuttings from flowering stems as they will not root easily and will greatly reduce your success rate.

Select healthy, strong stems with new growth and remove the top 4 to 6 inches with pruning shears. The pruning shears should be able to easily cut through the stem without crushing the plant tissue.

Prepare each cut by removing the bottom leaves exposing 1 to 2 inches of the stem.

How to Propagate Rosemary Cuttings in Water

Fill a glass or cup with about 1 to 2 inches of water.

Dip the stems of each cut in the water. Do not let the leaves submerge in the water. Change the water every few days until rosemary roots develop and keep indoors under indirect light.

Rooting should take about 2-4 weeks.

Transplant root cuttings into a pot after a small root ball has formed. Keep the grafts in a shady spot until roots set in the pot.

How to propagate rosemary cuttings in potting soil

Rosemary cuttings in starter potsA few cuttings can produce many rosemary plants. Source: Red Moon Sanctuary

First, fill a 4-inch pot with some good quality potting soil. Pour the potting soil until it is completely saturated.

Dip the stems of each cut in a root powder (optional). Glue 3-4 cuttings evenly spaced, about 1 inch deep per 4 inch pot.

Keep the soil moist and keep the pots in a shady place to prevent the cuttings from drying out. If the cuttings look stressed, spray them with a spray bottle every 1-2 days. A clear plastic bag can also be used to cover the pots and retain moisture and moisture.

Plant the new plants in a larger pot or in the ground after the roots are well established.

Learn more: Caring for your plant cuttings

Materials you will need for rosemary propagation through air stratification

  • Ripe rosemary plant
  • Sharp knife
  • Use or weight

How to propagate rosemary by air stratification

Spring is the best season for piling rosemary in the air.

Choose a long, healthy branch from an established rosemary plant.

Bend the branch to the ground. Dig a hole deep enough to bury the stem where the branch touches the ground.

Remove the leaves from the section of the stem that will be buried. With a sharp knife, peel off the outer layer of the stem and scrape it off. Be careful not to cut the stem. In this wound the roots start to grow.

Bury the cut part of the stem in the ground, leaving the top of the branch above the ground. Use a stake or weight to hold the branch in place.

Keep the soil moist. Check root development every few weeks. After a root ball forms, separate the plants by cutting off the branch that connects the mother plant to the new plant. Plant the new plant in a container or in the ground in a different location.

Learn more: Layer of air

frequently asked Questions

Keep rosemary cuttings moist with plastic bagsPlastic bags can be used as a temporary greenhouse cover to save moisture. Source: cristina.sanvito

Q: Can you propagate store-bought rosemary?

A: Yes! When the rosemary is freshly cut, you should be able to use it for cuttings. If the stems are not fresh, they may be dehydrated and your success rate will be low.

Q: How long does it take for rosemary to grow from a seed?

A: It takes about 3 months to grow rosemary plants from seeds. Germination takes 2-3 weeks, then it takes a few months for the plants to grow in size.

Q: How long does it take for rosemary cuttings to root?

A: It takes between 2 and 4 weeks for rosemary to form roots, depending on the method used. Gluing cuttings in potting soil with a root hormone leads to faster rooting times.

About the writer Jillian Balli:

Hello! I'm jillian I've always been fascinated by plants and nature. My obsession with plants started in college after I took Botany 101. After that quarter, I switched my major from general agriculture to plant science. During my studies, I got an internship at a commercial greenhouse. After that summer, I knew this was exactly what I should be doing! Now I run a citrus grower and help produce over 800,000 trees for growers in California each year.

After I bought my first house, I started a garden in my back yard. I've had some pretty big mistakes and some really great successes. There is also something therapeutic and satisfying about growing your own food. I look forward to sharing all of my experiences and knowledge and hopefully inspire some new gardeners!

The green fingers behind this article:
Lorin Nielsen
Lifelong gardener